I’m on the flight back from Chicago to Miami and my mind is buzzing with ideas and inspiration from the past two days at the HCAOA National Conference. Paradigm attends dozens of conferences each year, but this is the one I make it a point not to miss. It's a gathering of dedicated owners, innovative vendors, unique thinkers, and visionaries who collectively drive our industry positively forward. Here are five things that I learned, or reconfirmed, over the past two days.
This is Where I Want to Be
We work in a fundamentally good industry, and there's no need to say that in fancy words. It's incredible to be in a space whose sole purpose and dedication is to improve the lives of seniors at home, allowing them to age more gracefully and healthier than they would otherwise. Home care literally extends or saves lives. I listened to stories from so many agency owners who have gone above and beyond to improve the lives of their clients. This is where I want to be.
Third-Party Payers and AI Buzz
I may be biased, but the hottest topics at the conference seemed to be third-party payers and how AI is set to revolutionize many aspects of home care. It's possible my perspective is influenced by the fact that we were neighbors with the wonderful team from Sensi.ai in the exhibition hall, but these topics seemed to be buzzing throughout the conference. On the third-party payer front, we're witnessing a significant paradigm shift.
Agencies are moving beyond solely focusing on private pay and are recognizing the need to diversify into VA or Medicaid, while also keeping an eye on the future for Medicare Advantage, Workers’ Compensation, and other opportunities. To round it out, HCAOA organized representatives from Optum and TriWest to discuss various challenges and opportunities in the Community Care Network and to answer questions. Despite the hurdles, there is positive momentum in VA Community Care.
No One Knows the VA or Medicaid Like Paradigm
We take pride in being foremost experts in our field, but it was especially gratifying to hear that sentiment echoed by many of our franchisor partners, other vendors, and even the VA’s third-party administrators directly. Many conversations at our booth were eye-opening for those we engaged with; they were often surprised by the depth of knowledge every single person on the Paradigm team possesses and our willingness to share that knowledge. Our guiding principle is that even if you choose not to partner with Paradigm, you should walk away from any conversation with us better informed and capable of making impactful changes based on what you've learned.
The Responsibility of Vendors
At Paradigm, we often get caught up in the numbers, so it was refreshing to have so many valuable face-to-face interactions with our customers. We were there to listen, and we took in as much as we could. We identified a few areas for improvement, and we're committed to addressing them. We came to understand that what home care agencies value most from their vendors is respect, a listening ear, and prompt resolution when issues arise. As vendors in this space, we all have a responsibility to enhance the way we engage with and support our customers. Doing so will benefit us, the agencies, and ultimately the senior clients we all serve.
The HCAOA is Special
The HCAOA is a truly special association. They understand the challenges facing their members, are proactive in their advocacy, and offer genuine support. It’s not just talk, the HCAOA is creating real change. There's actual legislation currently making its way through Congress that aims to assist agencies with accounts receivable due to the transition to the Community Care Network. Paradigm is fortunate to be involved in numerous state chapter events and to be a part of the VA Advisory Council.
That’s All Folks!
I’m sure over the next few weeks as we digest everything we learned, more insights will come to mind, but in the meantime my focus is already on next year and I can’t wait to see you all again. Here’s to a year of continued growth and making the world a better place.